From LinuxMCE
Jump to: navigation, search

This page introduces you to the different components of a LinuxMCE system and what you can do with them.

The LinuxMCE system

See User Manual#The LinuxMCE system section: This section introduces you to the components of the LinuxMCE system and explains what each system component's role is. Once familiar with the system as a whole, you can proceed to the tutorials section to learn how to install, configure, and use each of the system components.

Composition of a LinuxMCE system

LinuxMCE enables various hardware devices to operate together as a system. At the heart of the system lies a server called the Core, which coordinates the interactions of all the hardware components that make up the system.

A LinuxMCE system is made of the following components:

  1. The Core
  2. Media Directors
  3. Orbiters
  4. Security
  5. Home Automation
  6. Telecom
  7. Network Attached Storage (NAS)

The Core

A Core is a single dedicated PC acting as a server that interacts with all the components of the system. It is the heart and brain of the LinuxMCE system. You can read more about it on the Core page.

Personal Computing with the Core

LinuxMCE is running Kubuntu Linux, complete with Office suites and all the programs you would need for everyday Personal Computing. See details on Personal Computing with LinuxMCE.

Media Directors

A Media Director (also known as a Media Station or Media Manager) is a PC running LinuxMCE that is connected to your TV or sound system to deliver music and video. In your entertainment area, it serves as the player for media that you watch on your TV, or listen to on your sound system. The Media Director in a LinuxMCE system is hooked up to a TV or stereo, and becomes an integrated media player, PVR, video conferencing station, intercom, and, a monitoring and control portal for everything in the home. All Media Directors work together seamlessly as a whole-house solution offering the same convenience throughout the house.

To learn more, read Media Director.


Orbiters are high-tech remote controls. An Orbiter is the device that displays the LinuxMCE User Interface. It is used to send commands to devices in the LinuxMCE system.
LinuxMCE allows a wide variety of devices to function as Orbiters. Ordinary laptops, wireless tablet PCs, PDAs, mobile phones running Android, IOS, Symbian or Microsoft Mobile, or any PC with a web interface that is able to connect to your LinuxMCE LAN can be used as an Orbiter.

To learn all about it, read Orbiters.


Security is a big part of LinuxMCE. Security functions include light control, surveillance camera monitoring, and, motion detection.

Events can be triggered based on detected motion or various sensors. LinuxMCE can send alerts to your mobile phone, set your alarm based on different schedules and scenarios, and even automatically lock the door when you leave your home. Find out more on the Security page.

Home Automation

The Home Automation features of LinuxMCE are convenient and energy-efficient. With Home Automation you can control lights, climate and even the whereabouts of music or video played in your home. Mobile phones can also be turned into remote controls for your entire house.

More about Home Automation


Telecom is integrated into LinuxMCE in a sophisticated fashion. The VoIP system provides great flexibility. Each member of your family may have his/her own personal voice mailbox. The system can keep track of where you are and route incoming calls to the nearest phone in your home, or to your mobile phone if you're not at home. Incoming calls automatically pause media, allowing you to take calls without interrupting your relaxation time.

More about Telecom

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

You can extend your Core's storage with a NAS device used in your LinuxMCE system as storage for your music and video collection, for PVR functions, or as a storage location for your files.

Connect a NAS to the network, and LinuxMCE will recognize and automatically integrate it into the system. See Network Attached Storage

What can I do with LinuxMCE?

Following is a list of things you can do with LinuxMCE. Each link goes to a how-to page which has 3 parts:

  1. How to set it up
  2. How to use it
  3. Where to find the source code (and how it works)

The list is not complete, and many of the topics do not yet have documentation. Not all documentation pages have screen shots and pictures. Feel free to add your own documentation to the wiki.

Most of the articles reflect tested procedures (even if the documentation is not written). Items in italics describe modules still in development or that have been only partially completed. Items with an * have been coded, and should work, but have not been fully tested.

Note: This is an introduction article only. The complete list of articles is found in the Tutorials Category.

Also see the Usage Intro.

See Tutorials Category for more.

Building a new Home around LinuxMCE

Linux MCE is the ultimate smart home. With proper planning, a new construction home can integrate LinuxMCE as the brains of the house.

In the past, a Home Entertainment Center would house a Home Theater PC. With LinuxMCE, the Core server and all communications hubs can be kept in a separate area. This makes home construction easier, allows centralization of data services, and allows for updating the home automation and multimedia system without altering the Home Entertainment Center in your living room.

More about Home Construction using LinuxMCE